Home Business Telecommunications Sky & Space inks agreement with WeFarm on satellite mobile connectivity deal

Sky & Space inks agreement with WeFarm on satellite mobile connectivity deal

ASX-listed nano-satellite telecommunications provider Sky and Space Global has sealed an agreement with the London-based Wefarm free knowledge and data sharing service that empowers farmers to connect with other farmers around the world.

Under the agreement, Sky and Space Global (ASX:SAS) will help WeFarm to enhance mobile network coverage and connectivity for WeFarm’s users, through integrating Sky and Space Global technology and Equatorial nano-satellite constellation platform together with the WeFarm data sharing services for its users.

The agreement follows Sky and Space Global’s just completed $10 million capital raising and share placement and as the company prepares to launch its first three nano-satelites in late May.

SAS plans to launch up to 200 nano-satellites from mid-2018 using the LauncherOne orbital launch vehicle with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, with the aim of using the satellites to provide affordable mobile coverage to an estimated four billion people without coverage.

WeFarm, named one of Africa’s most innovative companies by FastCompany and which won Google’s Impact Challenge Award, estimates there are many hundreds of millions of small scale farmers globally who are potential users for its services.

WeFarm chief executive and founder, Kenny Ewan says WeFarm enables farmers to share crucial livestock and crop knowledge, low-cost farming solutions, and “ask questions relating to any type of agricultural input or output without having to leave their farms – and without requiring connection to the Internet”.

“We are excited to launch this agreement with SAS. We believe farmers have the deep knowledge most relevant to help other farmers and are simply providing a way for them to share information meant to help them prosper.

“With the addition of SAS’s exciting new nano-satellite technology, we will be bringing the latest in mobile space technology to a population that needs increased connectivity the most – rural small-scale farmers. This is yet another instance of how WeFarm is helping farmers to connect in a way that is reliable, convenient and cost effective”.

Ewan said WeFarm sent over 40 million text messages this year through their network, and the company expected this figure to grow exponentially.

Sky and Space Global chief executive Meir Moalem said the company was now entering one if its key target markets – the smart agriculture industry.

“We will provide farmers using WeFarm’s technology, the opportunity to send and receive instant messages (SMS) in real-time. The partnership further demonstrates SAS’s business model and strong social values when it comes to providing affordable communication services to anyone, anywhere, anytime".

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).